Ramshaw Rocks are the east wing of the Roaches, a famous outcrop of millstone grit in the south-west Pennines near Leek. Some information about the history of orienteering in the area is given on the POTOC website. I think some people had a quiet chuckle when I announced I was going to this event – it’s a fantastic area for walking and rock climbing but it’s less than ideal for orienteering because the areas shown on the map as “rough open” are covered with Calluna vulgaris.

On the way back up the dogleg from control 11 I calculated the russness of the event at approximately 0.1R (degrees Russ), being the percentage chance of Russ bothering to finish the course. So low on the russometer, in fact, as to bearly register a flicker of russity. Only Russ himself could tell me if there has ever previously been an event so lacking in russocity. I await a russlessness report from the Bewdley headquarters of the International Russ Institute of Futile Dibberomatics. As I write, their scientists are… (Contd p. 94)

It was a beautiful evening in a beautiful area, only spoilt by the orienteering. I managed the 3.6 k of Blue part 1 in 45 minutes but, as I began to struggle to give my fig, the 2.7 k of Blue part 2 took me another 50 minutes. Included in that are the 20 seconds I halted right at the top to admire the panorama. A few of the runners seemed to be able to bounce through the heather as if they had pogo sticks for legs, but the rest of us had to content ourselves with any-which-way-but-straight (and the odd cheery comment).


Spot the difference:

leg 2                                                  leg 9

Answer: To #2 I ran along the path, then across the heather. To #9 I ran down the path and along the road.